Senin, 22 Januari 2018

WHEN WILL LOCAL SALT PRODUCTION FULFILL DOMESTIC DEMAND?

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Jan 22 (Antara) - Since salt production has remained stagnant, Indonesia has been importing the commodity since the last two decades, though it was able to increase production during the 2012-2015 period.
        Hence, the government is optimistic of boosting its salt production and encouraging the adoption of a salt-processing technology that is adaptive to climate change. Climatic conditions pose a problem to salt farming in the country.
        Currently, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) has been intensively working to increase the nation's salt production. Moreover, the government has set a target to realize self-sufficiency in salt production by 2020.
         Moreover, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan had recently expressed his keenness to accelerate the realization of the target by 2019.
         However, can the target be realized by 2019? This year, the government has once again decided to import 3.7 million tons of industrial salt. The annual demand of the salt industry is estimated at 2.3 million tons.   

Sabtu, 20 Januari 2018

TWO MORE TOLL ROADS TO BECOME OPERATIONAL IN SUMATRA

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 20 (Antara) - After inaugurating the seven-kilometer(km)-long Section I of the Palembang-Indralaya toll road spanning 22 km in South Sumatra last October, President Joko Widodo will inaugurate two more sections of the Trans-Sumatra Toll Road in Lampung Province.
         The two more sections to be inaugurated on Sunday are the 8.9-km-long Bakauheni-Interchange Section 1 and the 5.6-km-long Lemantang-Kota Baru Section 5. These two sections are parts of the Bakauheni-Lampung-Terbanggi Besar segment stretching 140.938 km in length.
         Bakauheni-Lampung-Terbanggi Besar Segment is part of the giant Trans-Sumatra Toll Road project that stretches some 2,700 km long from the Bakauheni Ferry Port of Lampung Province in the eastern part of Sumatra to Aceh Province in the western tip of the island.
         The Bakauheni-Lampung Terbanggi Besar toll road is under construction. The cornerstone for the construction of this segment was laid by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on April 30, 2015.
         According to Wikipedia, this toll road is one of the segments within the Trans-Sumatra Toll Road network assigned directly by the government to state-owned toll road construction company PT Hutama Karya (HK).
         Its construction is being carried out by PT Pembangunan Perumahan (PP), PT Waskita Karya, PT Wijaya Karya, and PT Adhi Karya through the assignment scheme of the Ministry of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Jumat, 19 Januari 2018

FISHERMEN ALLOWED TO USE TRAWLS AGAIN

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 19 (Antara) - The government announced on Thursday that fishermen can use trawls for fishing again after it had banned the use of the gear through Maritime and Fisheries (KKP) Minister's Regulation Number 1/PERMEN-KP/2015.
        Fishermen can thus use trawls until the process to switch over to the use of other environment-friendly fishing gear is completed.
  "Fishermen can go fishing with trawlers during the transition period. However, there are certain conditions," KKP Minister Susi Pudjiastuti had stated at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

         Earlier on Wednesday, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had remarked at a meeting with fishermen protesting in front of the Merdeka Palace that the government will give them additional time to stop using trawlers.
         "The conclusion is that we give them more time to change their fishing nets from trawls to other tools, without any deadline. However, please do not add more trawlers," the president noted.


Kamis, 18 Januari 2018

INDONESIA DETERMINED TO ERADICATE SNAIL FEVER BY 2019

 by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Jan 18 (Antara) - Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia, which still has schistosomiasis problem and is resolved to totally eradicate the snail fever by 2019.
        "In the acceleration phase, we have targeted to reduce the rate of incidence of the disease in humans, animals, and intermediary snails to zero percent by 2019," Health Minister Nila Moeloek stated, at the launch of Schistosomiasis Eradication Roadmap 2019-2025 at the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Agency, Jakarta, on Wednesday (Jan 17).
        Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever and bilharzia, is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. The parasite may cause infection to the urinary tract or the intestines. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine.
         Those who have been infected for a long time may experience liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer, according to Wikipedia.
         In children, it may cause poor growth and learning difficulty. The disease is spread through contact with freshwater contaminated with the parasites. These parasites are released from infected freshwater snails.

SEVERAL QUARTERS REJECT PLAN TO IMPORT RICE

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 18 (Antara) - The government has finally decided to import rice as prices of the commodity continue to increase, while supply in the market is declining, and stock at the National Logistics Board (Bulog) is not adequate for market operations.
         The plan is to import 500 thousand tons of rice from Vietnam and Thailand by the end of January. It will be carried out by Bulog.
         But certain quarters, including in a number of regions, such as Banten, Aceh, Central Java, Yoyakarta and South Sulawesi, do not agree with the importation of rice for a number of reasons.
         Kulon Progo District Head, Hasto Wardoyo, in Yoyakarta, for example, refused the plan to import rice for market operations in his region. The average unhulled rice production in his region reached 125 tons to meet the local needs, he stated on Wednesday.
         Therefore, the Association of All District Government of Indonesia (Apkasi) has urged the government to review its plan to import rice by crosschecking the real data on rice availability in the region.
         Rejection of rice importation was also voiced by Rieke Diah Pitaloka, a member of Commission VI on trade affairs of the House of Representatives (DPR). "I reject it because the arguments for the importation of rice were not clear and not based on real data," she noted on Wednesday.

Senin, 15 Januari 2018

TWO TASK FORCE TEAMS TO BE EMPOWERED TO DRIVE GROWTH

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Jan 16 (Antara) - The government is resolved to achieve an economic growth of some 5.4 percent this year by empowering two task force teams, despite some being skeptical about the target being realized.
        Head of the National Development Planning Board Bambang Brodjonegoro highlighted the need for hard work to attain the economic growth target of 5.4 percent set for this year.   
   Hard work is needed, as the country's economic growth still relies mainly on the consumption sector, Brodjonegoro, who is also the national development planning minister, had noted in Jakarta on Monday (Jan 8).

        To this end, the government will increase synergy between the Economic Policy Package Task Force and the Task Force on Acceleration of Doing Business to boost investment and the economy.
        "It is necessary to ensure continuity of work between the two task force teams, so that increased investment and ease of doing business in Indonesia can be realized effectively," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution noted as he led a coordination meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday (Jan 10).

Rabu, 10 Januari 2018

GOVT EXCEEDS ITS RENEWABLE ENERGY MIX TARGET

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 10 (Antara) - The government has been successful in achieving and exceeding its renewable energy mix target in 2017 after it failed to reach the environment-friendly energy target in 2015 and 2016.
         The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry said the realization of the new and renewable energy (EBT) mix program exceeded the target set in the revised state budget in 2017.
         Public Information and Cooperation Service Head of the ESDM Agung Pribadi said in Jakarta on Sunday (Jan 7) that the increase in the energy mix production took place not only with the power plants developed by state-owned power company PLN but also with plants built by independent power producers (IPP).
         "The realization of the EBT energy mix produced by power plants until November 2017 reached 12.52 percent, exceeding the target set in the Revised 2017 State Budget (APBNP) 11.96 percent. The main portion of the increase came from the hydro power plants (PLTA) and geothermal plants (PLTP)," he said.
         In 2016, the government set renewable energy mix target at 10.4 percent but it only achieved 7.7 percent of renewable energy portion.
         The success to achieve the target is a good indication that the government could achieve its target to reach renewable energy mix of 23 percent by 20125.